August 03, 2012

Breaking up is never easy, but it’s even harder when there are kids involved. Whatever the circumstances of your romantic relationship ending, chances are that you will be continuing a relationship of sorts with your ex, as co-parents of your children. And whatever age your kids are, they will also need a certain amount of assistance to adjust to the new situation. So, how best to enter this new phase in your life?


Have the discussion about how you will go about co-parenting early on. When will you each see your kids? How will big decisions be made? What notice is required about any change of plans? From the major questions such as schooling to day-to-day management like school lunches, it all needs to be sorted out and, if necessary, formalized. It could help to bring your children into these discussions as well.


Unless you are in the happy position of being financially self-sufficient, for many, becoming a single mother means your financial status – and security – will likely change. Retirement funds, joint bank accounts, child support, mortgages and car repayments will all figure in these changes. Consult an accountant to find out about any changes to your taxes.


It will be important to have a support network to turn to in times of emergency. Something as simple as having the flu for a few days can be stressful for a single mother, so it’s good to have family and friends you can rely on to do some child-minding if necessary. Making connections with other single mothers will also be important – someone to understand the difficulties you’re facing.


Most mums tend to put themselves last, and for a single mother – running a household solo, often juggling school lunches and household decisions with a busy career – it becomes even more difficult to find ‘me-time’. Even something as small as 20 minutes for a bath, catching up with your girlfriends for coffee or reading a book after the kids are in bed will give you the space to focus on you for a little while.


It might seem like an insurmountable task to re-enter the dating scene with kids in tow. It can be difficult to meet a potential new partner, but sites can help set up introductions with compatible dates and they are a good way to ease yourself into dating again.

Most importantly, you need to think positively about the new direction your life has taken. It may not be the direction you expected, and it can be difficult to reset your expectations. However, it can mean greater independence, the ability to try new things and the freedom to do it your way.


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